ROCK SALT & NAILS - Live & Hazardous

ROCK SALT & NAILS - Live & Hazardous
Park Records PRKCD79

Shetland band Rock Salt & Nails formed back in 1992. This live recording was made at Nettlebed Village Club about a year ago, and sound recordist Richard Holifield has done much to capture the energy of both performance and audience response. This is a male-vocal led Celtic-rock outfit, with a pretty taut rhythm section. Paul Johnston is very much in the driving seat throughout - he provides lead vocals and plays guitar & banjo. The rest of the band provide good backup. Drummer Ryan Martin provides consistently solid rhythm, giving the music much energy and drive. Fiona Johnson's presence is strong, her fiddle and keyboard playing very passionate and melodic.

The instrumentals are excellent - Ryan Martin really lets go on 'Shaggy's Set', and there's a fine set of tunes written by Alasdair Fraser, Russell Hunter and Iain Macleod. Johnston's solo guitar is particularly good on the 'Jack Broke Set'. There's a solid 'rocky' feel to quite a few of the vocals - 'Even The Rain', with fiddle riding easily over laid-back percussion. Some of the vocals, such as 'Got To Go', have a bit of an American feel about them, and the band's Shetland roots take a back seat on tracks like this.

The between-song patter started to jar a little after a few sets, but I feel this is an album that will be enjoyed by the band's fans and stands as a fine record of a great gig.

Debbie Koritsas

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This album was reviewed in Issue 66 of The Living Tradition magazine.